Thursday, August 18, 2011

Did you know Botvinnik defeated Capablanca in a simul at age 14?

100th birth Anniversary of Mikhail Botvinnik

Aug 17, 2011 18:02 Moscow Time
Mikhail Botvinnik. Photo: RIA Novosti
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Today the world chess community is celebrating today the 100th birth anniversary of Mikhail Botvinnik, who is regarded as one of the most prominent chess players in the world. No. 6 in the world history of chess and the first chess champion of the now-defunct Soviet Union, he was also a seven-time champion of the USSR in the period between the 30s and the 50s. Mikhail Botvinnik was a real patriarch of Soviet chess, who remained unparalleled for a very long time, a well-known Grand chess master and a chess theoretician, Yevgeny Vasyukov, says:

"All chess players admired him and did their utmost to adopt his experience in the field of chess. Each of us, representatives of the older generation, carried part of Botvinnik in our hearts. Mikhail Botvinnik is a very significant figure in the world of chess. He added much to the art of chess, including his training methods, practical work, regime of chess training, and of course, aspirations in chess. It is very difficult to find words to express what he did for the art of chess. All chess players, to a certain extent, are his disciples."

Mikhail Botvinnik won his first chess “fight” at the age of 14. Almost without any difficulty he defeated the then champion of the world Jose Raul Capablanca from Cuba in a simultaneous display.

By the way, it is exactly that match that brought him fame and strengthened the priority of the Soviet chess school. Two years later he became the youngest chess master in the former Soviet Union and made a successful debut at the USSR Chess Championship.

Jose Raul Capablanca, Emanuel Lasker, Wilhelm Steinitz, Mahgilis Eive, David Bronshtein, and Mikhail Tal - the prominent chess players of the world – were Botvinnik’s rivals at different times. And he defeated all of them. It is very hard to say which was the best of Botvinnik’s chess games. Actually, all his games are part of the chess history.

Botvinnik always invented something new. And he played more than 1000 games. All of them are known for their deep strategic plans, unexpected tactical strikes and initiative moving. Besides, Botvinnik was the first to pay paramount attention to chess theory, to work out an original plan of chess training and to create his own training methods which can be of help in achieving tangible results during competitions. Today many books of Mikhail Botvinnik on chess theory, and also on energetics and cybernetics, have been published not only in Russian but also in English, Hungarian, Danish, German, French, Swedish, and some other languages.

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